PRAYING IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
BEING TO PRAY IN THE MUTUAL FELLOWSHIP
OF THE TWO SPIRITS
To pray in the Holy Spirit is to pray in the mutual fellowship of the two spirits. Our spirit must touch the Spirit, and the Spirit must touch our spirit. It must involve the two spirits mingled together. When we follow the Spirit to pray in this way, we are praying in our spirit, and we are praying in the Holy Spirit.
We often say that prayer brings us God’s presence. But what does this mean? Our prayers bring us God’s presence when we pray in the Spirit. Then every sentence of our prayer is solid and touches God. When we pray in this way, our prayer has touched God’s presence.
Perhaps some brothers and sisters do not understand what it means for our prayer to be solid and to touch God. Here is an illustration. If I attempt to hit Brother Hwang but miss him, my blow is not solid. But if I hit him blow after blow, my blows are solid. The more I hit, the more excited and satisfied I will be, because my hitting is not in vain. We have probably had the same experience when praying. When we pray, we may sometimes feel that the words are lost in the air. They do not hit the mark. None of the words seem to touch God, and it seems as if God is not present. This means that our prayer is not solid. This is an indication that we are not praying in the Spirit. It also shows that we are not abiding in the Spirit. Because we are praying apart from the Spirit, our prayer seems to hit only the air; it is not solid, and it does not touch God. However, when we pray in the Spirit, we feel that the more we pray, the more we touch God, and our words touch God. We feel as if we are filled with God. Our God is not only in heaven; He has also entered into us. This is wonderful. The more we pray in this way, the more we are inwardly enlightened, comforted, satisfied, nourished, joyful, and anointed. These feelings indicate that we have received God in our prayer; we have breathed in God. Only this type of prayer is genuine, spiritual, and of value. Only this kind of prayer should be offered up in the universe. All other prayers are religious, formal, and outward, having no value.
The brothers and sisters should now understand what it is to pray in the Holy Spirit. If someone still does not understand, he may not be saved; he may not have the Spirit of God within him. Any person who is saved has the Spirit of God within him and should have had such experiences. There should be an Amen within him, witnessing that the more he prays, the more he touches God and is filled with God. The more we pray, the more satisfied and comfortable we feel.
There are, however, times when our prayers seem to chase God away. At such times we may be forcing ourselves to pray. We, therefore, feel empty and dry within and have a desire to finish our prayers. If we have all had this experience, we know the difference between these two conditions and consequences of prayer.
LEARNING TO RESTRICT OURSELVES
AND TO TURN TO OUR SPIRIT IN PRAYER
Some brothers and sisters may be clear concerning praying in the Holy Spirit, but they might not know how to enter the Spirit. Every person who learns to pray encounters this problem. We often have distracting thoughts when we kneel down to pray. When we try to reject one thought, another comes. While we are dealing with the second thought, another one invades our mind. The thoughts come like a swarm of bees. They buzz around in our mind and prevent us from praying. If we are unable to control our thoughts, we may become angry and declare that we will not pray any more. In this situation we have failed. Many times our distracting thoughts are a frustration to our prayers. They cause us to turn away from our spirit so that we cannot pray.
Our thoughts distract us because we are loose persons before the Lord. An undisciplined and loose person has distracting thoughts. If we are undisciplined and loose before God, we will be unable to be calm. We will have wandering and distracting thoughts if we are loose before the Lord. The looser we are before the Lord, the more distracting our thoughts will be. By the Lord’s grace, if we learn to control ourselves, our thoughts will come under control. When we stop to pray, we will immediately be calm, and it will be easy for us to turn to our spirit.
Please allow me to say that I have seen many brothers and sisters—sisters more so than brothers—who are very loose in their speaking. This does not mean that they use unclean words, but they are undisciplined in their speech. When they converse with others, they do not seem to be able to stop speaking. Since they are undisciplined and loose in their speaking, their thoughts fly all over the world. After speaking in this way, they may need to wait until the next day before they are able to pray since they are unable to be calm and turn to their spirit. Even if they wake up early in the morning, they may still have all kinds of thoughts racing through their mind, and therefore, they still cannot pray. Everyone who is plentiful in words cannot pray. When a person speaks continuously, his entire being is led astray. His entire being is captured by thoughts that wander all over the world. He has no way to stop his being, and he cannot pray. Therefore, a person who learns to pray must learn to control his speaking. He must learn to restrict his being, not only in one thing but in everything.
Many saints have learned some lessons in the matter of restricting themselves. Some are able to stop themselves in the midst of their temper and turn to God to confess and pray. Such prayer and confession are altogether a matter in their spirit. Such a person can easily pray in his spirit. This does not mean that a person who readily loses his temper can easily pray in his spirit. Rather, a person who can control himself even while he is losing his temper tends to find it easy to turn to his spirit to pray.
There are, of course, many brothers and sisters who cannot control themselves once they lose their temper. Even when others try to stop them, they are unable to control themselves once they lose their temper. They do not know what it means to be under control. They can be compared to a car that has no brakes; they are unable to stop themselves. It is not easy for such a person to turn to his spirit and pray. He may need to wait for a week before he can pray again. His entire being has been expended through his temper.
This illustration should help us to see that if we want to learn to pray, we must learn to control ourselves before God. If we control ourselves in ordinary things, it will be easy for us to control our thoughts when we pray. Our thoughts will be submissive, and it will be easy for us to stop, be calm, and turn to our spirit. We will easily be disentangled from our thoughts in order to turn to our spirit. A person who wants to learn to pray in spirit must learn to control himself at all times.
We often classify people as either extroverts or introverts. It is difficult for those who are extroverted to learn to pray. They seem to be able to do everything, but it is difficult for them to be calm in order to pray. It is, therefore, difficult for them to absorb and enjoy God, not to mention the fact that they have many unanswered prayers. This is a great loss. It is profitable for a person to devote some time every day to calm his thoughts and turn his entire being to God in order to contact Him. However, such a person must be one who restricts himself. If we want to learn to pray in the Holy Spirit, we must learn the lesson of restricting ourselves in our daily life, controlling ourselves in everything. If we can control ourselves in this way, it will be easy for us to stop our activities and pray.